Thursday, December 8, 2011

just days to go! and other ramblings

*39 weeks, 5 days*

it is hard to imagine that by this time next week, i WILL be holding my baby girl. it's still so surreal. i feel like it just really set in that i'm pregnant. i'm tired and sore, but i will be a little sad when it's over. i will likely never be pregnant again, and for most people, that might not be saddening, but i guess most people, they can change their mind on that one...

anywho, as of this past monday, i was still at 1-2 cm, 40% effaced (same place i was at the monday before). i have been having contractions on and off for several weeks. they actually started the night before thanksgiving. they weren't painful, just uncomfortable for close to a week. the tuesday after thanksgiving, i was at target and suddenly, omg. i was in such pain, and i thought wow, this might be it! but then they stopped... and then they continued on and off for days. i'd hoped the painful ones meant there would be some cervical change, and we'd be on our way to my desired VBAC, but no dice.

at my appt on monday, the doctor said he wanted to see me back on friday and i asked about what would happen if again there was no change, ie. how quickly could i get in for a c-section? saturday? monday? tuesday, doctor said, but if i wanted, i could just schedule it for friday. he told me to think about it, and call the next day to let them know if i wanted to schedule a c-section.

i was realllly hoping there would have been some progress, and i wouldn't have to make this decision, but after talking to ben, going to acupuncture, and having a moment of clarity, i decided i was going to schedule a c-section for tuesday.

so, i went back for more acupuncture tonight, and tomorrow, i see the OB, where he'll check me and strip my membranes as a last ditch effort for my desired VBAC. if nothing happens this weekend, i'll go back to the OB one last time on monday and c-section will (inevitably) be on tuesday.

if i do wind up having a c-section, so be it. we did what we could to have a vaginal delivery, and i just don't see the point of waiting a few more days to have another baby at 41 weeks by c-section. i'm a little selfish and impatient at this point i guess. i'm tired and sore, and really don't want to have to go back to work next week. and really, as terrified as i am of how hard life as a mommy of two is going to be (at least for a little while), i am aching to see this girl, cradle her little body, touch her little face. i can't wait to take that first look, to match the one of noah that is burned into my memory. i can't wait to share her with the world, but more importantly than anyone in this world, for us to share her with noah. to finally hand deliver the gift that i wanted so desparately for him is the moment that i have looked the most forward to. i cannot wait to see the look on his face and the way he reacts when he finally sees and meets his baby sister, who i know he already loves in a way that i don't think most three year olds would.

my boy is growing up so fast, and it's hard to imagine that in just days we will be a big brother. i know that he will be the best big brother to his baby sister. he will teach her and guide her and lead her through life. not only is she a gift to him, but he will be a gift to her, and i cannot wait to watch them grow up together and explore the world together.

life gets in the way all too often and i forget to take a step back and take it all in. it's usually at night, when i'm watching noah sleep that tears come to my eyes and i'm amazing by what i have created and what i am doing my best to mold on a daily basis. i'm not a perfect parent, and i wish i could be better most days, but it's a hard job, to raise a child. especially one who is so strong and driven and motivated to learn about the world!

it's been a hard couple years though too, between my RA being the worst of my life when noah was young, to going through IVF twice in the last two years, and being pregnant for the past nine months. my hope is that after baby girl is born, i will get healthy and strong and be more physically able to be available so that i am more mentally available to both my babies. i want to do the very best i can, and give my babies the very best, because they deserve nothing less. it might be a challenge, but it's one i want to face head on.

to my baby girl: i love you from the deepest part of my soul, and yet i have never laid my eyes on you. i will forever look at you and noah, and be amazed and awed by my journey to have you. the fact that you were both mere clusters of cells, created in a dish in a lab and carefully placed into my body by a doctor, will never be lost on me, and my gratitude to all the people who played a role in my infertility and IVF expereiences will always be in my heart. i look forward to someday sharing the story of our journey and your conception with you and your brother. i am not ashamed to be infertile, nor will i ever be anything but proud to be an IVF mommy. you and noah are the greatest gifts in my life, and i would go through all of it, to hell and back again, to know that you are my prize in the end. i don't know why the world is how it is, if there's a god or not, or what it all means, but i know that i believe in love and goodness and that my children are the greatest part of me and have made me a far better person than i ever could have dreamed to be. i will keep striving to be better and to do better because you deserve everything good in the world. my baby girl, i am so greatful for you, and i cannot wait to meet you and to watch you grow into an amazing person. i love you with my whole heart, always and forever.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

36 weeks

the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter! ultrasound last night confirmed baby girl is head down and raring to go. holy cow, this is going to happen, and it's gonna happen soon! i think i've been have contractions on and off for the past week. she's moving like mad, and pushing down hard on my hooha, and while she's measuring a little small (just under 6lbs or 34ish weeks, per the ultrasound), she's fiesty as hell, and i know we're in for it.

as these final weeks play out, i'm experiencing so many emotions. i have to stop sometimes, and take it all in. the movement, however uncomfortable it is becoming at , noah, and the size of my growing belly... i may never experience these feelings again in my life so i have to remember to enjoy these final moments of pregnancy. on the other hand, i'm ready to be done being pregnant so that we can finally meet this little girl, see her face, and love on her.

the other night, noah was talking to my belly and it made me cry. he said "i love you baby. i love you baby sister. you're so precious." he is so in love with the idea of her. i don't know if he fully understands the reality of how life is going to change, but he loves babies and is so sweet with them.

i am almost more emotional thinking about him meeting her than US meeting her. i think part of it is because it will be seeing our family finally become whole, but also because of the lengths we went to with the intent of making noah a big brother. i wanted a baby for myself, true, but moreso, i wanted noah to have a sibling and if this IVF cycle wouldn't have worked, we wouldn't have stopped there. it might have cost us tens of thousands of dollars, but we would have found a way to give noah a sibling.

not a day goes by that i'm not amazed by and grateful for the life growing inside me. i will always be a proud IVF mama, and i'm so grateful to the doctors who worked their magic and for the infertility community who have been my support system for the past five years.

as it comes quickly to it's end, i'll never forget the journey i've been on. it has been the hardest and best of my life. parenting is more challenging and stressful than i ever imagined, but the joy of my amazing noah is more rewarding than words can describe. and baby girl. my beautiful princess, who is destined to be a tomboy, simply because i'm desparate for her to wear dresses and be a girly girl! i am so in love with the idea of her, and i know the moment i lay eyes on her, my life will be forever changed. little girl, i adore you. i think you know that already. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

33 and a half

sitting here, finally catching up on the blog, whilst my baby girl shoves her head into my cervix and pummel kicks her feet into my SOMETHING. my liver maybe? she moves a lot more, or at least very differently from noah. and i'm up another pound, for a grand total of 10 pounds. started around 155, and as of yesterday, weighed in at 165. i've still only gained two pounds since august 1st, which i realllllly shouldn't complain about. i just get nervous that i'm not getting baby girl enough nutrition, and i would never forgive myself if i somehow did something "wrong" while pregnant.

anywho - the past few weeks have been busy, but thankfully the business is winding down in the weeks leading up to baby girl's due date.

a few weekends ago, ben, noah & i got up at the crack of dawn (literally - it was the first time noah'd ever seen the sunrise) to take the el from oak park to the city to watch uncle scott run the chicago marathon. ben mapped out the route, and we had a daunting plan for the day, but man, am i glad we did it!! we hit four spots on the route - miles 3, 12, 21, and 24 (ish) - and it wasn't nearly as challenging on me physically as i'd expected. i was surprised however by how overwhelming, awe inspiring, and emotional it was. i was just amazed by the ability of these 40,000 odd people to run 26.2 miles! and everytime we saw scott and brian, we were all so full of pride and awe. it was very cool.

the next weekend was my sweet boy's third birthday. when the hell did THAT happen?! noah is three!! we had the loveliest weekend. ben took saturday off work, and we spent the morning at klein creek farm enjoying a perfect fall day, and fortunately, getting some really great family pics by grandpa. noah was showered with gifts all day and the three of us had dinner at 2 toots cafe in glen ellyn, per noah's request. sunday was the family party, and noah had so much fun eating cupcakes and destroying the basement with his cousins. i swear, every toy we own was scattered across my family room by the end of the party. ah, life. :)

over the past week, we've been very focusedd on getting noah's big boy room ready. we are so close, and he WILL be in there by the end of the month. the decor may not be 100% done, but he will sleep in his new bed and i will starting getting his clothes, toys, etc, organized in that room. once he's settled, i can focus on readying the nursery for baby girl.

speaking of, she is still sans name. not for nothing, but we haven't really talked about it. we haven't talked about a lot lately. i'm also nagging or overly critical, so conversations have been limited. sigh. anyway- that was just a sidebar.

i have a list of about a million things to do, and i know there are things missing from the list. i hate that i feel so unprepared for this baby, because she's coming - ready or not - in no more than 6.5 weeks. oh. shit.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

31 weeks

as i sit here watching my sweet boy avoid sleep on our new (and totally rad) video monitor, i feel like i need to blog for my little girl. i've been a bad, bad blogger, and part of it has been lack of inspiration to write and part of it has been sheer exhaustion. being pregnant with a toddler is harder than i imagined it would be, and there are so many other things to do that blogging has taken a permanent back seat. for that i feel guilty. :/

i'm not good at noah's baby book. i'm not a scrapbooker. i'm not good at journaling (and clearly not at blogging). and i have a horrendous memory, so i fear that by not putting my thoughts and memories in writing, they will be lost. i was trying to remember when noah started crawling the other day, and unless it's somewhere in here, i fear i'll never know... but alas, this is life. life is hectic, and i have a moment before i'll go get the tired boy who it does not appear will nap today....


my little girl baby will be here in no more than nine weeks from today (since i've told the OB i have no desire to go passed my due date, and this outweighs my desire to have a VBAC). we are far less prepared for a baby at this point than we were at this point with noah. i suppose we are prepared in that we have something of an expectation for what it will be like to have a newborn, but in the coming weeks we have noah's 3rd birthday and his birthday party next weekend, a baby celebration the first weekend in november, and the goal between now and then of moving noah into his big boy room. the room is still very cluttered, but mostly our junk is boxed and needs to be removed from the room, his furniture put together, and his things moved in. i told ben that for my sanity, this needs to be done by the end of october. i need the baby's room ready shortly after the baby party so that i will feel "ready" for her arrival.

and then there's the name thing. ben and i discussed boy names days before noah was born, and agreed upon noah once we found out i was having a c-section. there is a name that is sticking out to me, and a middle name i might need to sell ben on, but it almost feels funny that i already have a possible name in my head. we didn't know noah as noah until a mere hour before his birth. i guess i hesitate with choosing a name just yet because, despite seeing her face on ultrasound and feeling her have hiccups and do calisthenics in my belly every waking moment, it strangely still doesn't feel real.

i am so in love with this baby. i feel like life has gotten in the way of my ability (or energy) to properly express this. i think constantly of what she'll look like, what her personality will be, what her favorite toys and shows will be. it occurred to me the other day that, while my first meeting with my daughter will be full of emotion and pride, i am almost more looking forward to seeing noah after she is born, and having them meet for the first time. i guarantee, there will be some ugly cry pictures in that bunch...

i am so proud of the journey that we had to take to conceive our children. i didn't choose the path we took, but it has made me the mom that i am. i am so grateful for my two precious miracles, and i try to remember every day not to take them for granted. i am trying (despite pain and exhaustion) to remember to savor my pregnancy, as it will almost certainly be my last.

i will be sad when i am no longer pregnant. it is something people who don't have fertility challenges certainly take for granted. when i wasn't pregnant with noah, i hated all pregnant people, but once i was pregnant with him, i thought about the infertiles who saw and hated me. i realized you can't judge because you don't know. before i was pregnant with sissy (noah's nickname for baby girl), i was jealous when those who had kids around the time i had noah were getting pregnant again. and even since i've been pregnant with sissy and fertiles have announced their pregnancies, or thoughts of future babies, i get jealous. why? because i know they decided to have a baby and got pregnant, or can think about having three or four or ten kids, and will. i wonder if this part of infertility ever goes away?

i just know that in my heart i wanted these babies more than anything in life, and no one can take them away from me. i know that i wanted noah to have a sibling so that he would always have someone to share his life with, even when i'm gone. it would have crushed me if i couldn't have given that to him. we think he understand the idea of the baby growing in mommy's tummy and that it is his sister and it will come out soon to live with us.

i am nervous to be the mom of a little girl. i've got the boy thing down pat. i know the names of the Cars characters, the types of train cars and construction vehices. i've got the dirt-under-the-fingernails-cleaning and building-downtown-wheaton-out-of-blocks down pat. but despite BEING a girl, the pigtail, princess, dress thing is kind of intimidating.

i am ready though. our 3d ultrasound showed us the most beautiful little girl, with big eyes and round cheeks, just like her big brother. and she's a fiesty one, no doubt, with all she's put me through with this pregnancy and all her moving and shaking. she will keep us on our toes. i love her so much. it's unreal how a mother can love her unborn child. pregnancy will never cease to amaze me. the fact that my babies were put into me as clusters of cells and developed into little people inside of me... holy crap that's cool.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


i'll update soon. i keep thinking about it and then either forgetting or being too tired. :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

...and the other invite.

Piece of Cake Birthday
Create funny birthday invitations at
View the entire collection of cards.

again, $10 off from just for posting! woohoo!

one of noah's birthday invites....

Truckload Of Fun Birthday Invitation
Shop for special Birthday wishes at
View the entire collection of cards.

posting to get a $10 credit on, where i just ordered this invite for noah's kids party and another for noah's family party. :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

the latest

*21 + 3*

so daily blogging in july was a failure. all i can say is i'll try stay consistent at least!

so what's the latest news with us:

over the weekend, noah FINALLY started jumping. not a huge deal to most parents, but he should've been able to jump ages ago. he's been getting physical therapy 2x/mo for his strength and coordination, and the thing that made me get the eval in the first place was that he wasn't jumping. so understandably, a big deal.

he's also been using some funny words and phrases lately. that's a bummer, wait, accident, problem, just a minute, i mean. the other night i was talking to him about his behavior and at the end of my spiel, he said "do you understand me?". i think he meant he understood, but it was pretty funny.

on saturday, noah and i went with the bergers to silver beach in st. joseph, mi, and noah had the time of his life!! he did awesome and LOVED his tube. we leave in a few days for piatt lake, and i have a good feeling that noah is going to be a fish all week!

yesterday and today, the roofers were here. they showed up unexpectedly yesterday morning- we weren't expecting them til saturday! but it wound up being a 2-day project, so i'm so glad they were able to come early, and now our roof is done!! it looks SOOOOO much better.

baby k has been moving like crazy ever since my ultrasound. i forgot how much i love that feeling!! this pregnancy is going well, but it is getting more and more different from with noah. i have major sciatic nerve pain by the end of the day every day, and while i was constipated with noah, this time i am having major cramps and it sucks.

other than that, t-minus four days til i'm done with work and vacation starts! we leave in five days for the lake!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

catching up

*20 + 3*

Because the daily blogging experiment has clearly ended... it's time to catch up. Not a lot going on in our lives. Another bit of drywall fell from the ceiling yesterday - "boom", Noah told me, when it happened while I was on the phone with him. We signed a contract with a roofer. The whole roof will be replaced for about $7000 on august 6th, the day before we leave for michigan. yikes. it better not ra*n that day, or we'll be in trouble. i am so desperate for vacation to get here, i don't want to delay it even a day!

baby k is moving like crazy. CRAZY! she's tap dancing on my bladder non-stop. i swear she doesn't sleep. i've been feeling pretty well, though over the weekend, fell asleep super early several nights in a row, and tonight the third late night (ugh) in a row. i'm trying to eat well, but find that i am starting to get full faster. fortunately, heartburn and indigestion are still at bay. i pee a lot, though i've been trying to drink a lot of water. water is actually the drink i crave the most. well, that and a variety of cocktails.

work has been slow, so i've been trying to get ahead. somewhat unsuccessfully, but i'm making attempts.

we've had SO MANY busy weekends lately. we've done something at least one of the weekend days every weekend this month. it's partially because ben's been working a lot of overtime, mainly friday and/or saturday nights, so i either do something with noah on saturday to break up the long day and/or do something fun with daddy on sundays. we've been to cosley zoo, taste of lombard, cubs game, fourth of july fireworks/parade, cantigny park, monkey joe's, train to chicago/millenium park, peck farm butterfly house, and just fun stuff around the house - pool, baseball, bubbles, etc. we have a pool pass too, but have only used it a few times. shame on us. we tried to go one evening last week, but the pool was closed for a swim meet. hmph. i'm hoping to go a time or two more before vacation to get noah ready for the lake.

speaking of, noah seems very excited about going to the lake. he talks about splashing in the water blah blah, but the lake is SO COLD up there, that i'm afraid he'll get a toe in, and that will be the end of it. I'M a wimp about going in the frigid lake, so we'll see if we can actually (hopefully) get him (and me) in the lake this year!

Monday, July 18, 2011

IT'S A .....................

*19 + 2*

Girl? With 70% confidence, the OB told us we're having a girl. That's not quite the percentage I was hoping to walk away with. Let me back track...

Friday (18+6) was our "20 week ultrasound". Not quite 20 weeks, but close enough. I'd pushed to get it on the early side because a) I wanted to see the baby/find out the gender, and b) I wanted to know how things were going, placenta wise.

I decided the afternoon of the u/s to eat a hot fudge sundae from McDonald's and a Little Debbie brownie with the intent of waking up the baby, not making things difficult. Apparently, I had a little too much sugar, because while we were waiting for the doctor (which took an eternity, thanks to the chick in the next room bemoaning her Lovenox shot), baby was going crazy. It was moving a ton, and while I thought I felt it a few weeks back, now I know I'm definitely feeling it, and have almost everyday since.

OB finally came in for u/s and asked if we wanted him to "look". We said heck yeah! And so it began, with a squirmy little baby, moving all over, making it hard for the doctor to get many good pictures. He did point out both sides of the brain, four chambers of the heart, stomach, arms, and legs, and took measurements of the head (right on target), torso (also on target), and legs (measuring 20 weeks, shocking). Several times, he tried to see between the legs. He tried going at it a couple different ways, but the baby, despite all the movement, would not spread it's legs.

Finally, in a last ditch attempt, there was an image that flashed by. He stepped the frames back, back, back, and then there were three lines, the telltale sign of a girl. But the way he said it, it was clear he wasn't certain. My heart was beating so hard in anticipation of the announcement, I thought it would pop out of my chest. But the "announcement" was anticlimactic. I had imagined that I would weep or jump off the table at the pronouncement of a girl, but nothing. Sadly, I had no reaction. I guess there was some disappointment that there was no clear answer, and also shock that there was potential that my second child could be a little girl.

The doctor helped me sit up, I asked him how certain he was it was a girl. He told me he was about 70% sure, but advised us not to start shopping for pink or painting the walls of the nursery. I asked about my placenta situation (which he had pointed out on the u/s screen) and whether the amount of movement was as expected. He said that it hadn't moved much, but that was what he expected based on the size of my uterus at this point. He said he'd do another u/s with my glucose test around 24 weeks. SO, we don't quite know the gender now, but at least I know that in another month or so, we will get a firm answer. It's gonna be a long month.

In the meantime, we are starting to talk about baby sister to Noah, and say "she" between the two of us. Outside of that, we are cautiously optimistic. I have the image of the "three lines", which are pretty clear, but obviously, I don't want to cling to the idea of a girl, just in case it is a boy. I will be happy either way because I know it's healthy and growing how it should be, but now that the more real possibility of a girl has been dangled in front of me, I think I want it to be so now more than ever.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


*18 + 5*

not a lot new to report. we closed on the loan for the rav yesterday and ben took the check to the dealership, so it's 100% officially ours. :)

got another quote for the roof, and we're waiting on another to come in. we're hoping to make a decision as soon as the last quote comes in so that we can hopefully get the roof done before vacation, which is three weeks away...

tomorrow's our big reveal, assuming it doesn't get canceled like noah's mid-pregnancy ultrasounds did. i'm pretty much assuming it'll be be canceled so that if it is, i won't be so devastated. and if it happens, i will be thrilled!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


*18 + 3*

Yeah, so I know I said daily blogging in July.... well it started off I was tired, then I forgot, then... well, let's talk about my last few days.

Friday -
Went out for "drinks" after work and had to run an errand on my way home. Got home in time to kiss Noah good night. I think I was so tired once I sat down that I didn't even look at the computer.

Saturday -
Ben worked ALL day. He's been picking up a lot of overtime lately, working til 11pm on some Fridays and Saturdays. It's good money, but makes for a looooooong day for mommy. It was hot out on Saturday, and I contemplated taking Noah someplace fun, but none of Noah's BFFs were free, so instead I busted out the baby pool. Noah was in it for close to two hours, just splashing and cracking me up with his self-talk and one-liners. I'm not even sure what else we did Saturday, but I do know that I was planning on going to Target but my mom's Jeep wouldn't start. Change of plans - I ordered a pizza and mom and Jeff came over to check out the car. Dead battery. Long day on my own with a two year old... I think I forgot I had a blog.

Sunday -
This is when my weekend went south. We've known since we bought our house that it needed a new roof. The roof is old, original to the 1960s era house. We also knew there was some urgency because a while back we noticed a crack in the ceiling of our living room, perpendicular to the apex of the cathedral ceiling. Well, on Sunday, the crack suddenly seemed to worsen. I took a "before" picture around noon that day.

We left shortly after I took the pic to spend a few hours at Cantigny. Noah had a blast there - he loved checking out the tanks and the very cool museum that's so much better than when I was a kid. And then there was the splash pad. I wasn't sure what he'd think, but he LOVED it. He probably could've stayed in the water all day if we'd let him. We can't wait to take him back, and next time hopefully bring a picnic and some friends.

When we got home, the crack seemed even worse and we realized part of the ceiling was going to collapse. Ben moved everything on that size of the room to the other side, and around dinner time (7pm-ish), he put down a tarp and the baby pool to "catch" whatever fell when the time came. We talked with Noah about what was going to happen so he wouldn't freak out when the roof came crashing down, and around 9pm, while we were tucking him into bed we heard it.


At first it scared the crap out of me, then it grossed me out. The odor was awful - musty, mildewy, damp wood. And the ants. Blech. Big ones, little ones, coming into my house. Sick. So then Ben went about cleaning up the drywall and insulation, and taped a tarp to the ceiling to hopefully keep the ants and odor out of the house and also so we didn't have this huge hole exposed. Then reality set it. Don't forget, we were on the verge of buying a new car! Ben emailed several roofing places that night, in hopes of getting some quotes on Monday.

Monday -
I didn't sleep well that night between the gross factor, and the anguish over the cost of fixing the roof/ceiling and buying the new car (which our loan had been approved for on Saturday). I woke up to the sound of the fan going on and off and the monitor beeping - sounds which mean flickering power. And where there's brown-outs, there's storms. As soon as I became coherent, the wind started whipping and the rain started pouring down. Ben and I both ran downstairs to witness what started as a drip drip drip and became a steady stream... this explained A LOT about what had happened to our ceiling.

Later than day, our 2nd roof estimate came in (the 1st was on Wednesday before the urgency set in). The roofer said it looked like the roof was done poorly to begin with and guessed that the damaged spot had been leaking for upwards of 10 years.

Ben and I went back and forth all day about what to do - patch the roof or fix it, buy the car or a smaller car and how much money do we put down. Ben crunched numbers all day, and decided that we WOULD buy the Rav 4 and WOULD fully replace the roof.

As for the roof, we're still waiting on another quote or two, but are hoping to get a completely new roof in the next few weeks. As for the CAR, it's ours! We went Monday night and picked it up. We are going tomorrow to close on our loan, and finalize the deal.

So needless to say, blogging has been kind of far from the forefront of my mind. I'll try to do better. We have a big day coming up on Friday - our big reveal ultrasound!!

I leave you with this - a belly picture from today:

Thursday, July 7, 2011



you know, i wish i was creative. i'd like to write something interesting and inspiring like so many of the other amazing blogs i read, but - i'm not creative. so instead, my day:

not much exciting to report today. we went and applied for financing for a new car, and as i type this, ben is composing an email or emails to toyota and/or pugi regarding negotiating a price on a car. hopefully we'll own a new car by sometime next week. until then, i'm driving my mom's jeep, which noah is happy about.

noah often likes to see my belly and say hi/hug/kiss the baby. tonight i asked him if he could tell the baby a story. this is how it went: "once upon a time, there was a boy named noah. and gigi. they liked. they went in the pool. the end." i love that it had all the components of a good story. once upon a time, main characters with a purpose, and the end. he told that same story twice, and i was caught between laughing and crying at how brilliant he is.

i think i failed to comment on how noah fell out of bed (we think) again this past weekend. at 4am on sunday morning, we here "maaa-meeee. come here. maaa-meee!" ben pops the door open and noah is standing at the door. good thing his door sticks, or he'd have probably come crawling into our bed!!

noah says some funny things these days. "that's a great idea." "we here yet?" "this is my grandma/mommy." - let me explain that last one. today at klein creek farm, he introduced the chickens to my mother-in-law, and tonight at the mall, he introduced the "guys" in the window (the headless mannequins) to his mommy, hand gesture and all. he's something, that kid.


sometimes i just stare at him in amazement that he's mine, that's he's so big, that he's so smart, and that soon, we'll have any other one who will likely look just like him. i know how lucky we are to have noah and to have this babe on the way. i try to remind myself everyday of that and to enjoy my pregnancy, since it will most likely (save for a miracle) be my last.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


*17 + 4*

soooooooooo tired tonight after being out late last night, and the night before that, and the two nights before that.... but long story short, the highlight of the day is that WE SOLD MY CAR!! i was a teeny bit sad to see it go, but did a dance of joy when it was and the $2000 was in my hand. tomorrow we are going to the credit union to work out the financing, and hopefully this weekend, we'll be buying a new car!



UGH. so much for my daily july blogs!! four days in, i totally let it slide! oh well. here's the re-cap of the past few days:

yesterday was the 4th of july and of course, everyone under the sun showed up for the wheaton parade! it was great watching the kids (noah, grant, & anna) get excited about the trucks, floats, bands, clowns, etc. they got SO MUCH candy, it was awesome. they got up and danced when there was music and did a great job of staying put and making it an enjoyable experience for mommies and daddies as well.

after the parade, we picnic-ed at great grandma's/katie's house. grandma was at the cabin, but it wouldn't be the 4th without eating in her yard after the parade. we stayed for several hours before deciding it was time to get crabby to bed.

we got noah down for nap around 3:00, and i promptly fell asleep on the couch watching the Cubs game. around 5:15, ben woke me up and said we were going to my mom's for BBQ dinner at 5:30. i was a bit of a zombie, but we spent a few hours there before coming home and crashing.

today was back to the grind. ugh. there's nothing harder than going back to work after a long, BUSY weekend. it was possibly the busiest weekend i've had in several months, and it made today rough.

however, today is our 8 year anniversary, and we had plans to go to dinner after my 6:30 OB appt. we went to the appt and the waiting room was verrrry full. the appt went well. i didn't get the exact heart rat but the doc said it was good. we scheduled the BIG ultrasound for next friday - hope it doesn't get rescheduled like it did with noah. we got out of there just before 7:30, and from there headed to Naperville Toyota, where we'd made arrangements to test drive a Rav4. We drove what we both agreed is a front runner - I am a huge Toyota fan to begin with and the size of the backseat and the cargo space are big pros for me. They desparately wanted us to sign the dotted line tonight, but we finally had to tell them it was our anniversary and we were on our way to dinner before they cut us loose. from there we headed to francesca's in naperville, where i proceeded to eat WAY too much (appetizer, salad, huge salmon entree, cappucino, dessert, and a bonus dessert because the server discovered it was our anniversary).

at close to 11:00, we finally headed to mom's to pick up noah, who is the sweetest sleepy head. he said "hi mommy" when he saw me and reached out to hold my hand. when we got home, daddy told him we were going to buy a car that's like a jeep. noah said he wanted the jeep, he wanted the new car, but when we had to say that we didn't get it, he started crying, big crocodile tears and all. finally ben brought him a toy car, and he calmed down. i laid him down, pet his head, his eyes rolled around in his head, and he was out. :) he's the best boy ever.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cubs Win!!

*17 +1*

This blogging everyday thing is gonna be hard!! it's almost 11pm, post-fireworks and mama's tired... I'll keep it brief.

Last night, Ben worked late, so I decided to join the Bergers, the Zemans, and a few others from work for the Modern Day Romeos concert at the Taste of Lombard. Our coworker Justin is in the band, and I've been wanting to see them play for awhile, so I texted Julie & Amy, and it was so. Noah was a gem. I don't know if it's his age or her personality, but he's just so well behaved in those sort of setting. He knows the rules - stay close and behave - and he did. While the other kiddos were playing chase with mom and dad (who were not willing participants), Noah just kind of circled the group, and only wandered away when I asked him to go dance. He had such a great time.

Today, we went to our last Cubs game of the year - this one against the Sox - and YAY! They won!! We got there a bit late, but made it to the end of the game, and even squeezed in a short nap between the game and the fireworks. We met the Bergers and Deckers, and Steph, Richard, Brian, & Evelyn at the county complex to watch the fireworks. It was our first time since we've lived in our house that we've GONE to the fireworks. We can see most of the display from our sideyard, but since we hadn't made plans ahead of time, and I'm not a fan of watching the fireworks alone, I made the executive decision that we were going to go.

Noah has been kind of weird about the neighbors fireworks that they have been randomly setting off, and saying that he doesn't like the fireworks. I told him he could wear earmuffs if the fireworks were too loud (not thinking he'd remember I said that). Shortly after the show started he said I want my earmuffs. So, I kindly obliged.... He took them off after a few minutes but it made for some funny pictures!

Tomorrow morning - parade and BBQ!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

2T energy burst??

*17 weeks*

Ben's working late tonight. He's picked up a lot of Friday and Saturday night overtime this summer, so that we can have a little extra money for baby/car/roof/whatever else might financially attack us in 2011. (The roof is a new issue. Guy's coming Weds to take a look to see if we can patch an area that is *clearly* leaking, by the obvious water damage to the ceiling in our living room, or if we have to replace the whole thing. Ben's thinking patch, but I'm afraid of what roof guy might find.)

Anyways, nights Ben works late are tough, especially if I allow myself to be confined to the house like I did last weekend, when he worked THREE late nights in a row, and I was in the beginning stages of my nasty illness. But today? Well that's a different story!

I had decided last night, and told Noah that I'd take him to Cosley Zoo today. This morning, I decided that the pool would be fun too. So Gaga came over and rode to Cosley with us, where we met Julie, Scott (sometimes called Scoot by Noah) and Grant. Noah was a bit of a terror. Doesn't help that mommy can move very fast whilst pregnant and is quickly irritated when ignored by feisty two point five year olds... It was HOT and sticky out, so we did the rounds at Cosley, and mommy, Gaga, & Noah were off to Northside Pool.

Northside Pool is a little ghetto by Wheaton standards, but I think that's why I love it. We have a pool pass this year, and have so far not been to Rice Lake. Honestly, I'll be happy spending the whole summer at the baby pool at Northside. We got there right at 12 when it opened, and like when we went on Father's Day, it was pretty dead. Perfect! We stayed about an hour, and that was that.

Now Noah's sleeping HARD while I watch the Cubs and Sox game, and text the Berger's and Zeman's to make plans for the evening. I do believe the 2T energy burst may have finally arrived! Thank the gods! I've been pretty annoyed at it for staying in hiding this past month, when there is SOOOO much to do around my house. But instead, I'll leave the mess for another day and take Noah to Taste of Lombard tonight with his friends Gigi and Anna for some tunes from my coworker's band, Modern Day Romeos.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 1, 2011

july challenge

*16 wks, 6 days*

last week, i thought about how i don't blog very often, and decided to challenge myself to blog every day in july. it's gonna be tough, but since i *think* the 2T energy is starting to make it's appearance, i'm gonna try. here goes:

yesterday, i picked up noah and we went to downtown wheaton to watch trains. not only that, but we stopped at starbucks, got mama a frappucino, and noah a chocolate milk, and sat on a bench enjoying the view.

today, i finally went to the doctor (general doc, not OB) because i was tired of the sinus pressure and generally feeling crappy. i made the appt late yesterday, and of course by this morning i was feeling significantly better. not 100% so i kept the appt, and kindly accepted the z-pack of antibiotics to help just the junk outta my head. hopefully i'll start getting back to normal before long so this entire weekend isn't wasted on feeling like crap!

happy fourth of july weekend!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

what's going on...

*16 weeks, 3 days*

I've been meaning to blog for awhile. I've in the 2nd trimester now, but I'm still chronically exhausted so using my brain and my hands to create a blog entry is generally the last thing I want to do. But here's an update on us:

Since my scary bleeding episode, everything's been fine. No spotting, nothing. Saw the OB again June 13th and baby's HB on doppler was in the high 150s. He said he'd see me again for a routine appt in 3 weeks (which is on July 5th, our 8th anniversary!), and then the following week, when I'm 18 weeks, he'll do the next ultrasound. THE ultrasound. So sometime the week of July 11th we will hopefully know if Baby #2 needs a boy name or a girl name. I truly do feel like it's a boy. Didn't have a feeling with Noah, but this time, I have a feeling. Aside from the weird hormone levels in the beginning, the random bleeding/low placenta, and my joints being slightly more inflamed this time around, this pregnancy has been pretty similar to my first. I'm know I'm kind of convincing myself it's a boy so that I'll be good with it. I know that sounds awful, but this was our last ditch IVF, and it would take the stars and moon aligning and a miracle from the heavens for us to have any more kids. I'd like to have a girl so I can have one of each, but at the end of the day, I will not be disappointed if it's a boy. Just want it to be full term and healthy.

Aside from that, we took the side rail off Noah's crib on the 12th, as the first step in the process of transitioning him to his new bedroom. He was realllly excited about it and thought it was so cool. He has gone to bed easily every night, though weekend naps can be a challenge. He always stays in bed, even in the morning after he wakes up, but doesn't always sleep for naps. The first morning, I found him across the room on the floor in front of his bookshelf. It was hilarious, because I opened the door and looked at the bed, then the floor next to the bed, but no Noah. Then there he was, next to the bookshelf. The second night, we heard him fall out of bed around 11:30pm. He landed safely on the body pillow I'd put next to the bed as a safety net, and he was still asleep! The third night, he finally stayed in bed. Since then, he's only fallen out of bed once, this past Saturday around 4am, and the body pillow was NOT next to the bed to break his fall. He woke up screaming and shaking, and it took sometime for Ben and I to calm him down. Poor kid.

Noah also took a gymnastics class - his first - for the last four Tuesdays, which ended today. My mother-in-law took him, and it kind of made me sad that I have to work and didn't get to see him in class, but glad he got to do it all the same. It was a pretty unstructured class, but he really seemed to enjoy many of the activities, most of all the trampoline. He told me tonight "i like the trampoline". We might have to sign him up again in the fall... but until then, he'll start a dance class in a few weeks. :)

I've been sick since last Wednesday. Last week, I thought it was just laryngitis, but on Friday night it turned into a head cold, sinus infection thing. The congestion and sinus pressure has been killer, but I'm pretty sure I had the same thing when I was pregnant with Noah too.

Other than that, things are pretty low key around here. Because of my lack of energy, almost nothing has gotten done around the house. We have til December, sure, but mama's a planner, and I want to get on these projects ASAP. When I have energy.

The other thing we have done is to start looking at cars. We are taking the plunge, selling my car, and buying an SUV. Granted, a small SUV, but still. The next step is to do a couple more test drives, compare all the specs, and make a decision. Which will not be easy because I feel like there's a lot riding on this. I've NEVER bought a car, let alone a new car. Ugh. So stressful.

Monday, June 6, 2011

1st OB u/s pic

I forgot to post this sooner - this is our u/s pic from our 1st OB appt on May 24th, when I was 11 weeks, 3 days.

unplanned four day vacation

*13 weeks, 2 days*

you'd think a four day weekend would usually be welcomed, but when you don't get to do anything fun or productive, it kind of sucks. i've been really good about taking it easy. i've spent most of the weekend on the couch, on the internet and watching TV, which gets real old, real fast. now i have a glimpse of how sh*tty bedrest is, and i've known people who've had to be on bedrest for months. i shouldn't be complaining about four days...

anyways, like i might have mentioned before, ben stayed home with me on friday, and was off work yesterday and today. on saturday, our friend's amy & mike offered to take noah for a few hours, and took him and their daughter anna to centennial beach pool in naperville. it was nice to have him doing something other than just sitting here staring at the TV with me, but it was weird being home alone on a saturday morning for the first time in, oh, about 32 months... my mom brought lunch on saturday around the time noah came home, and then she stayed til noah woke from his nap. the nurse didn't specifically say i couldn't life noah, but given she said not to carry groceries or laundry, my 34lb child is surely on that list...

i missed my dear friend anne's baby shower on saturday. i considered going, but i knew the right thing for me and baby to do was to stay home and do some online shopping instead... my sister graciously stepped up to help me out with some stuff that needed to be done for anne's shower, as i was in charge of decorations for the shower.

mid-day saturday, i developed a major headache that lasted several hours, and i also had mild cramps that kind of freaked me out, but didn't last very long. i have been working hard to drinks lots of water and eat lots of food, though i haven't been super interested in food so far with this pregnancy. this comes as a huge bummer...

my OB appt is today at 5:30 and i'm hoping (assuming) we'll have another ultrasound to double check the baby's still looking good, and hopefully get a visual on the placental issue. i'm assuming that since i'm not bleeding or cramping regularly, i'll be cleared to resume regular activity. i hope he lets me go back to work full time, because these two unplanned days off are torturing me. i only have so many days to take for maternity leave, and i hate having to use them now. :/ but i know i don't have a choice and i'm doing the right thing. wish us luck at our appointment today!

Friday, June 3, 2011

a big scare

*12 weeks, 6 days*

So let's recap the last few weeks of this pregnancy. I told my closest girlfriends I was pregnant right around 8 weeks, and my coworkers right around 9 weeks, and then went Facebook official. Around 10 weeks, my pants started fitting tight, and people started noticing in the last few weeks that my belly was becoming a BELLY.

On Tuesday May 24th, I had my first OB appt with Dr Carroll. We talked for a long time, probably close to an hour. (The joys of being the last appt of the day!) We talked a lot about VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), and I expressed my desire to make a VBAC the goal. My only condition with doing a VBAC is that I don't want to go past 39 weeks, since with a VBAC I can't be induced. If nothing's happening by 39 weeks, then c-section it is. No going til 41 weeks for me. And to that, I also requested we do a last u/s to confirm baby is head down, so I don't go along thinking VBAC when the baby is breech...

Anyway, fast foward to last night. Aside from the exhaustion and constipation, I'm feeling great. Starting to make the switch to maternity clothes. No vomiting, and nausea only a total of 3 or 4 times. No food or smell sensitivity, etc. Had a pretty average work day, ran some errands for a friend's baby shower after work, and got home just before 8:00.

I came in and sat down with Ben & Noah, who was eating dinner, for a few minutes, then got up to pee. And then I felt the all to familiar woosh that women feel at "that time of the month". But it's not "that time of the freaking month", i'm almost 13 weeks pregnant! But lo and behold, I pull down my pants and about fall over. Before I can pull up my pants (or pee for that matter), I stumble out of the bathroom, tell Ben I'm bleeding and we have to go to the hospital, and call my mom to say "I'm bleeding, need to go to the ER, come watch Noah". I was trembling. Poor Noah was upset and confused and asked why mommy was crying. I said something about how I was okay (don't mind the shaking and inability to stand), and within a minute it seemed my mom was here. I kissed Noah's head, and we drove the mile and a half to the hospital.

The ER visit went like this. Wait anxiously in the waiting room, in a wheelchair because I'm not sure I can walk. Try not to cry or freak out because it feels like it's taking FOR-FUCKING-EVER for them to take me in. Nurse takes me to triage, gets my vitals, asks a few questions. Phlebotomist, who according to Ben had a tic, comes in to draw what felt like a gallon of blood, and then wheels me back to a room. Nurse comes in, gives me a once over, checks my vitals again, and says she's going to start an IV and find the baby's HB on the doppler. I tell her I have to pee (remember, I got up to pee and didn't when this all started), so I do, and there's lots of blood. It was scary. Back to the room, get the IV (in my elbow, which I hate IVs there, though they are less painful to get), and the dumbass nurse tries to find the HB near my belly button, thinks she finds it and it's 104 which "is normal this early in pregnancy". Um, it's normal if I'm like 6 weeks, not 13. Anyways, we don't put much stock in this nurse.

So introducing Dr Douchebag. From the moment he walked in, we know he was a tool. Ben later said he was living out his "ER" (the TV show) fantasy at CDH. Dr D said he was more concerned about me than my baby at the moment (not quite those words, but close), and would do a pelvic exam and u/s. Great, a pelvic exam but an ER doc. Dream come true. No stirrups, no paper blanket to cover my girl parts, just the doctor, the nurse, and the tools. But he said my cervix looked normal and the exam was normal. He said that miscarriage is common in the first trimester (REALLY? NO SHIT.) and told us the u/s department was very busy and was running behind, so we might be waiting awhile. I'd been thinking the M word but it was the first time some one said it aloud. Bastard.

A half hour later the u/s tech comes to wheel me to the imagining area. She was a lovely lady. She told us that she couldn't tell us anything about the scan, and that the doctor would read it and let us know. This made me anxious. Shortly after she started the abdominal u/s, she said she did see the heartbeat and the baby was moving like crazy. That made me feel a million times better. Between the abdominal and vaginal ultrasounds, we were probably in there for 30 minutes.

After the u/s, a different nurse came back in to check my vitals and try again with the doppler. She seemed to catch it for a few beats, but we didn't mind. The u/s lady told us it was there.

A bit later and after supposedly talking to my OB, Dr Douche popped his head in and basically said - the u/s looks normal, so we're gonna send you home now, and well, you know the drill. I was like, HUH? What drill? I've never experienced bleeding during pregnancy so, no, I certainly do not know the drill.

He said to call the OBs office in the morning to follow up, and that there was no specific cause for the bleeding. He reminded us that miscarriage generally occurs in the first trimester, and they sent us packing with discharge paperwork that listed information about "threatened miscarriage". Great.

So needless to say, I slept very little last night for fear of increased bleeding, cramps, contractions, etc. I had already texted my boss late last night and gotten coworkers to cover today's mtgs so that was taken care of. Ben and I both stayed home with the intention of getting some sleep but I was up at 8:00 because sleeping was not working for me.

I called the OBs office shortly after 8:00 and got the answering service. Called shortly after 8:30, and got the receptionist, who said they normally don't bring people in for vaginal bleeding. (WHAT? Hello, did I fail to mention I'm 13 weeks pregnant?) I insisted, saying I had unanswered questions because the ER doc was a douche, er, didn't give us much information. Receptionist said the nurse would be in at 9:30 and she'd leave her a msg to call me.

9:30, 10:30, 11:00 rolls around, and she hasn't called. So I call. Sorry Alicia, I'm not sitting here, bleeding, waiting for your call. I explained to her that we did not have a great ER experience. The doctor gave us very little information, and I want to see the doctor to get questions answered and find out the cause of the bleeding. She puts me on hold. She took a look at my u/s and baby looks good. She's going to talk to the doctor and call me back, but tells me she's holding a 4:00 appt for me. Okay, good.

Ben takes Noah, who also didn't seem to sleep well last night, outside, while I try to snooze on the couch. At 1:30, my phone rings, and it's Alicia. She said they took a closer look at u/s, and it appears that I have a low lying placenta. "Is this the cause of the bleeding?" I ask. "Yes", she says. "Is there reason to be concerned, will it resolve, I think I had that with Noah, what do we do now", I state.

Basically, my placenta is attached too close to my cervix. She said that as the baby grows and the pregnancy progresses, the baby will pull the placenta up, thus moving it out of the "low lying" position. I read that 90% of low lying placentas will resolve in this manner. The remaining 10%? She says if it doesn't move as pregnancy progresses, I would not be able to delivery vaginally.

Okay, after this bleeding scare, to hell with VBAC. I want this baby full term and healthy, and that is all that matter.

So what now? I have a diagnosis and reason for the bleeding (sidenote: bleeding seems to be subsiding), and now my orders are to "chill" this weekend. (Her words.) No heavy lifting, no housework, no sex, etc. So Noah and I will have a baby sitter tomorrow so Ben can go back to work, and I will stay home on Monday until I see Dr Carroll and get the all clear to go back to work. I have an appt on at 5:30pm on Monday because it's all they had, though I asked to be on a cancellation list, if possible, to come in sooner. I also asked about the baby's heart rate on the u/s. She told me it was 158. Perfect.

So for now, I'm laying low (like my placenta), and being waited on. Poor Noah is napping now. My mom said he was very nervous after our abrupt departure last night, and was asking where we went, and then couldn't fall asleep until they snuggled up in our bed. Poor kid.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


*9 weeks, 1 day*

For the last several weeks, I've been blogging but not posting them. But now things are officially, and for the most part (short of making it "Facebook Official"), our secret has gone public. We're expecting!!! I am due on December 9th, and aside from complete exhaustion from being pregnant and wrangling a two year old every day, I'm feeling great! Anyways, I just posted all my hidden blogs from the past several weeks, so go back to the beginning of April if you're an avid reader to catch up with my journey.

Monday, May 2, 2011

graduation day

*8 weeks, 2 days*

Today I "graduated" from FCI. It was so bittersweet. I love everyone there, and I'm so grateful for each and every one of them. I bought a thank you card, brownies and cupcakes, and there were hugs all around. It was somewhat sad thinking that this would be my last time ever in this office as a patient.

Noah was not impressed by the image on the monitor, but we showed him a picture of the baby, with it's heart beating an impressive 172 beats per minute. wow. at this point (well at 10 weeks) noah's HB was 158. if the old wives tale is true, maybe this is a girl!

taking a step back, it occurs to me that i never wrote about the debacle of the first week and a half of this pregnancy. so my first beta was great, had me thinking twins. 2nd beta was not great. from 314 to 478 is *not* doubling. 3rd beta was even worse - 678. that weekend was so hard on me. i read so many things and asked so many questions to my fellow IF/IVFers. everyone reassured me - vanishing twin, they explained. this had to be the reason. another embryo still present in my uterus but not healthy enough to attach and survive. but still i wondered - what if it's ectopic? what if i'm going to miscarry?

after the 3rd beta was so low that friday, they pushed my 1st u/s to weds, as the HCG level has to be over 1200 or so for anything to be visible on u/s. on monday, the original u/s day, i spoke to my nurse gabby, who'd been out on friday. i asked about my progesterone levels. they were perfect, in the high 50s and low 60s. she assured me, with those prog numbers, it was not ectopic. i asked if i could come for a 4th beta (the other nurse on friday told me no), and i told gabby i needed some piece of mind and something to tide me over til the u/s on weds. she told me to come in.

later that day, i got a call from gabby that finally gave me an ounce of peace. she said she'd wanted to see the HCG level over 1600, and it was 1851. that number is forever etched in my mind, because it finally gave me hope that i was pregnant for good.

that weds, we went in for the first u/s. i was so nervous, and i know ben was too. there was no expectation to see a heartbeat. i was only 5.5 weeks, but we hoped to see SOMETHING, in the right spot, growing the way it should. and that's exactly what we saw. one beautiful embryo, tucked right in the middle of my uterus, measuring exactly 5.5 weeks. and then there was this smaller, somewhat crescent shaped shadow below my beauty on the screen. could it be? robin, the tech, couldn't be sure but said it could either be a collection of fluid or an unhealthy embryo. our vanishing twin.

when robin told us everything looked perfect, i lost it. i started sobbing and hugged her. given my rollercoaster week, i know she understood. plus, this was her job. she deals with crazy, hormonal, pregnant infertiles all.the.time. just another day for her.

on wednesday, a week later, we saw the heart beat for the first time. at 6.5 weeks, it was 122, and the "twin" was gone. i don't mourn the loss of the "twin". many people on my IF/IVF boards expressed their condolences. yes, twins would have been welcome, but i'm just grateful to have one healthy baby growing in me, and i'm not one to mourn a cluster of cells that was never meant to be. i know that sounds harsh, but after four rounds of IVF and a total of 12 embryos, i'll take two healthy babies as my final outcome any day of the week. :)

A-Z for infertility

a real post coming soon, i promise, but first thanks to liz at Compromised Fertility for this...

A. Age when you started Trying to Conceive (TTC): It was early 2006, so I was (doing the math) 27.

B. Baby Dancing or Sex: BD always was a weird term to me...

C. Children wanted: Two or three.

D. Dogs/Cats/Fill in Children: Two cats and one Child

E. Essential Oils/Vitamins/Snake Oils: Before my last IVF cycle, I was taking Vitamin C, D, CoQ10, extra Folic Acid and Prenatals. Now just folic and vitamins.

F. Fertility Meds I’ve taken: Ack, so many!! Clomid, Lupron, Follistim, Ganerelix, Menopur, low dose HCG... hm. probably others.

G. Gain: IVF always makes me gain 5-10. And then there's the 10 I never lost after Noah...

H. HSG (Hystosalpingogram): Yes, one when we first started Clomid, so fall of 2006.

I. Infertile Pet Peeves: People who get pregnant without trying and/or people who bitch and moan about the kids they have.

J. Job title: Early Intervention Service Coordinator

K. Kids names you’re afraid will be taken by the time you can use them: Emily was my girl name with Noah. Might be in the running someday, but no names that are truly "must haves".

L. Length of time TTC: Days shy of two years with Noah. On and off for 2.5 years since Noah.

M. Miscarriages: None. Thankfully.

N. Number of times you’ve switched OB/GYNS, REs, FSs: What's an FS?? Only switched OB when I started TTC. Was at Dupage Medical and switched to Dr C on the recommendation of a former co-worker who'd had fertility issues. Never switched REs. One of the best medical teams I've ever dealt with. And coming from me, that says a lot.

O. Ovarian quality: Questionable. May have diminished ovarian reserve. Test results for my FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) seem to fluctuate every time they're tested. But I for sure do not stim well.

P. Pee on a Stick (POAS) or wait for Aunt Flo (AF): I am not one to POAS.

Q. Quote from an obnoxious fertile: "I'm so fat and ugly."

S. Sperm: Perfect. No problems in that department.

T. Time you tried naturally: About six months before going to Dr C and starting Clomid. And then roughly a year and a half between Noah and IVF #3, and another ten months between #3 and #4.

U. Uterus quality: Good as far as we know. Possible endometriosis, but besides one cyst, no other evidence of endo.

V. Vagina: Poked and prodded by countless medical professionals.

W. What baby stuff do you already have?: Seeing as I have a 2.5 year old, I have it all, and I kept it all in hopes we'd get to use it again someday.

X. X-tra X-tra Hear all about it! How many people know the ins and outs of our crazy TTC journey? Family, friends, co-workers, strangers.... I'm known for being open about my IVF journey. I draw strength from sharing my story, and I know my honesty has helped others cope with their journey's as well.

Y. Yearly Exam (do you still go in even though someone sees your lady parts most months?): I go every year, though I think I am currently over due...

Z. Zits: Usually not a problem for me, even with all the hormones.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

lazy sunday

A. Age: 32

B. Bed size: California King. It's hard to sleep in anything else.

C. Chore you dislike: Most, but if I have to pick I'd say vacuuming.

D. Dogs: None. Not a big dog person.

E. Essential start to your day: Bathroom, meds, shower.

F. Favorite color: Blue.

G. Gold or silver: Silver. Most of my jewelry is silver and my wedding rings are platinum.

H. Height: 5'7" ish.

I. Instruments you play(ed): Played the clarinet for (...doing the math...) 12 years? Started in fifth grade and was a certified band nerd throughout high school and college. Even marched in college.

J. Job title: Early Intervention Service Coordinator

K. Kids: Two and a half year old Noah Taylor, the coolest kid I know.

L. Live: In a split-level house in Winfield, IL

M. Mom’s name: Kathleen

N. Nicknames: Mindy, since my full name is Melinda, but I also get Min or Mind a lot.

O. Overnight hospital stays: Lots. Was in a week after my gall bladder was removed. Was in a few days after my lung biopsy. Was in for five days due to a post-op infection. And several days following Noah's birth.

P. Pet Peeve: Again, lots. Ignorance and stupidity are probably on top of the list.

Q. Quote from a movie: I'm terrible with quotes. I blame it on my 80 year old memory.

R. Righty or lefty: Righty. I think Noah's gonna be a south-paw.

S. Siblings: One sister, one half-sister, three brothers-in-law, and two sisters-in-law.

T. Time you wake up: Depends on the day, but since Noah started on a normal sleep schedule, I can't sleep much past 8:00.

U. Underwear: Boring cotton bikinis. Usually Hanes from Target cuz they're cheap.

V. Vegetables you don’t like: I like most, but definitely can't do brussel sprouts or peas. Blech.

W. What makes you run late: Usually Ben. Honestly, if it's just me, I can usually have my shit together in time, but when it's the two (or three) of us going anywhere, we're always late. But sometimes it's just because we oversleep.

X. X-rays you’ve had: So many. Probably every joint has been x-rayed at some point.

Y. Yummy food you make: If you know me, you know I don't cook. :/ Wish I did, but fortunately, I don't have to. ;)

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Whatever gets Noah excited. This last zoo trip, he was excited to see the giraffes, and they were actually pretty cool.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Yesterday, Noah turned two and a half and pooped on the potty twice. Wow.

I'm in awe everyday of him. How smart he is. How funny he is. How inquisitive he is. How polite he is. (Please, Thank you, Welcome, Love you.) Don't get me wrong - he has his moments. He's in a kind of bossy stage. "Mine" is a new familiar word. Time outs are becoming a routine occurance. But I always remind him that he is a good boy. (He just needs to learn to listen and not to throw toys, his two downfalls.)

We're looking forward to the weather turning to summer. Last weekend, we went to Klein Creek Farm with Gaga and Brookfield Zoo as a family with Auntie Juty, Uncle Shott, and Gigi, Amy, Mike, & (Noah's IL girlfriend) Anna. The weather was lovely, and we all got sunburned at the Zoo. This week however has been another story.

We are looking forward to lots of fun things this summer, including a recent decision to join Amanda, Robert, Isaac, & Laine for a long weekend in the Wisconsin Dells in August. I think the Dells just Ben, Noah, & I might not be so much fun, but with the other kids, I think Noah will have the time of his life! On top of that, there's the annual trip to Piatt Lake in the UP of Michigan, a few Cubs games, a few concerts (Ray LaMontagne and Brandi Carlisle for mommy & daddy, and New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys for mommy & auntie), and surely numerous playdates and visits to the playground. We're also planning on getting a pool pass, and I'm thinking of enrolling Noah in a dance or gymnastics class.

It's gonna be a great summer with my TWO AND A HALF YEAR OLD!!! Seriously? I can't believe how quickly time goes...

Sunday, April 10, 2011


i've had a lot on my mind that i don't really feel comfortable blogging about right now, since i don't know who all is reading this. hopefully i'll be able to share the whole story sometime soon, but until then, just sit tight. long story short, life throws you curve balls, and sometimes you need to wait to find out the outcome. and let me just say that the limbo i'm in is the worst limbo of my life. i think my brain and heart might explode.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A New Day

"A New Day Has Come"
Celine Dion

I was waiting for so long
For a miracle to come
Everyone told me to be strong
Hold on and don't shed a tear

Through the darkness and good times
I knew I'd make it through
And the world thought I'd had it all
But I was waiting for you

Hush now I see a light in the sky
Oh it's almost blinding me
I can't believe I've been touched by an angel with love

Let the rain come down and wash away my tears
Let it fill my soul and drown my fears
Let it shatter the walls for a new sun
A new day has come

When it was dark now there's light
Where there was pain now's there's joy
Where there was weakness I found my strength
All in the eyes of a boy

Hush now I see a light in your eyes
All in the eyes of a boy

I can't believe I've been touched by an angel with love

Hush now
A new day

An Open Letter to PETA

Ingrid E. Newkirk, President
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Dear Ms. Newkirk,

I am yet another member of the infertility community who is appalled to learn about your "Win a Vasectomy" contest, and I strongly request that you immediately discontinue this contest and issue a REAL apology (non the Facebook BS) to the infertility community for this shameful and careless campaign.

Conceiving a child is something that many people take for granted, but for 1 in 8 Americans, it is not something that comes easily. People try for years to conceive, and words cannot describe the pain and anguish that comes with infertility.

My son is my greatest gift, and without in-vitro fertilization, fantastic doctors, and an amazing support system, he might not be here. So for you to insinuate that winning a vasectomy to curb overpopulation sickens me. Still to neutering animals and throwing pain on people who wear fur, and let the infertility community out of this.

I demand you issue a formal apology to the infertility community and discontinue this contest immediately.

Mindy Koechling

beta #2

beta #2 was yesterday and was 478. "a little off" per my nurse. hcg levels are supposed to double every 48-72 hours, and mine are doubling at a rate of 79 hours. some lovely ladies from my IVF board suggested that maybe it's what's called a "disappearing twin", meaning another embryo (or two) were still present but hadn't fully attached to my uterus and was not viable. the presence of the embryo could have raised the initial level, therefore making the 2nd number not look like it doubled correctly.

anyways, i go back tomorrow for beta #3 and early ultrasound is scheduled for monday. definitely staying positive and feeling pregnant! i've definitely had symptoms for the last week or so. cramps, constipation, sore boobs, big boobs, etc. no nausea yet, thankfully!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Holy Crap. I'm pregnant!! HCG is 314 and progesterone is 57 13dt3dt. I go back Wednesday and Friday, and then early ultrasound sometime next week!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

pain in the neck

Earlier this month, I started having major neck issues. Keep in mind, I have RA so I have crappy joints to begin with, so I always have aches and pains. But shortly after coming back from Arizona, I started having serious neck and shoulder pain. I was in pain and uncomfortable all the time, and it was hard to focus on anything unless I was laying down.

After about a week of the discomfort, and once I started experiencing weakness and tingling down my left arm, I finally went to see a doctor. I just went to a family medicine guy at the clinic, nothing special. He gave me some exercises and ordered x-rays. He mentioned that if the x-rays were okay, he might recommend an MRI.

I did the x-rays the same day, and the next day the nurse called saying everything was normal. I asked about the MRI, and the nurse said the doctor had noted to call back in a week if I was still experiencing pain.

I was put off. Not only was I struggling to deal with the pain, it was interefering with daily activity AND I was in the midst of IVF stims. I didn't want to risk going into my ER & ET without addressing the issue, especially because of my experience with cycling during an RA flare last summer. (Long story short, it didn't work possibly because of the flare.)

The next day, I called back and said I wanted to do the MRI now. I told the nurse there was no improvement and tried to express the urgency without having to detail my whole IVF/IF story. She talked to the doctor and an order was put in for MRI.

Now call me naive, but I guess I didn't know what an MRI was. I mean, I knew what it was, but didn't realize quite how small that tube is that they put you in. I went in for my MRI the following Wednesday, and promptly freaked out as soon as I was moved into the tube. I walked out, tail between my legs and in tears, without completing the MRI.

**Side bar: Part of why I got so emotional following the MRI attempt, aside from the hormones and urgency of beating the clock on my IVF retrival, was because Noah had an MRV (basically an MRI for the ventricals in the brain) about a year and a half ago. I remember thinking he had to be scared during the test. He wailed and reached for me. I stayed calm, but kept thinking "I'd be so claustraphobic, how must he feel?" SO flash forward to my experience, and I had a sudden wave of guilt for putting Noah in that position. I hate mother's guilt.

Anyways, after my freak-out, I talked to several friends and co-workers and all suggested an Open MRI. Again, naive. Didn't know there was such a thing, so I called the medical group, and they confirmed they didn't have one. So I googled, and found one near my office. I got an appt for that Friday. The day before my retrival.

I survived the open MRI, and was told I'd have results within 24 hours.

So the weekend came and went, and on Monday, the day before my transfer, I still hadn't heard anything. I called the doctor. They hadn't received the results. WHAT?! I called the MRI place, they called the doctor, the doctor called me...

Diagnosis is bulging discs between C5 & C6 and C6 & C7. I had previously self diagnosed (thanks Google) with a C5/C6 problem, because of the location of the pain, weakness, and tingling. I see the orthopedic doctor tomorrow, and I am hoping that all I need is some PT to resolve the issue, and that surgery isn't needed. Especially since I'm PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) with my triplet embryos. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

IVF again

So I'm pregnant. Hahahaha! Well, pregnant until proven otherwise. This is my mindset. It's going to help get me through the grueling 2WW. I remember that after my transfer with Noah, I would pound the mantra "This will work" into my own head everyday, and I truly believe that optimism and positivity helped that lone embryo to sick. But let me go back...

Last week it seemed like things were coming a long. There were a lot of follicles, and I hoped that would equal a lot of mature eggs. I got the call on Thursday that egg retrieval (ER) would be that Saturday the 19th at 9am. We went to the FCI River North office Saturday morning, and like riding a bike, I was calm about the process and the procedure, but what raced through my mind was "this is it". I knew that this could potentially be my last chance at having a baby of my own.

If you've never had to feel the ache of infertility, you are more fortunate than you know. There is something to be said about the natural desire to have ones own child. A child that is like me, looks like me, looks like Noah. I stared at the ceiling thinking about all the possibilities. What if there are no eggs? What if we get some to freeze? What if there's only a few? What if I don't get pregnant?

The ER went smoothly, as always. It's a pretty simple easy procedure. It's done under general anesthesia and takes no more than 15 minutes. They basically aspirate the eggs from the ovaries by inserting a needle vaginally, going through the vaginal wall and extracting the eggs directly from the follicles. It's really pretty incredible if you think about it.

During the retrival, they collected six eggs and drained a cyst. Not going to lie, I was disappointed. Six was not the number I'd hoped for.

The next day, I got a phone call with the fertilization report. Of the six eggs, only three were mature. They were all fertilized with ICSI (intracytoplasmic semen injection - basically they pick the best sperm and inject it directly into the egg), and all were growing well. They were growing, but again, I was disappointed. Three embryos meant this would be my final transfer. All I could was hope they all made it to transfer...

The next day, I got the call that we were scheduled for a day 3 embryo transfer (ET) the next day, Tuesday the 22nd. I asked how the embryos were growing, and she said they were all growing well.

Tuesday we went back to the FCI River North office, and blasted Chicago rush hour, we were a half hour late. Fortunately, they always tell you to be there an hour before your procedure is scheduled, so it wasn't a huge deal. And again, old hat. Been there, done that, but again, the nervous, staring at the ceiling thoughts came back.... I couldn't help but think about the possibilities.

The embryologist (who I think has an amazing job, by the way) came in and discussed our embryos. She told us they were all 8-cell (which is ideal for a day 3 ET) and looked great. For the embryologist to tell us they looked great meant a huge deal to me. She knows what she's talking about, and while maybe she says that to everyone (I doubt it), it was what I needed to hear.

Dr. Uhler did my ET this time. It's a really incredible thing to see, but even cooler was that now FCI lets you see your embryos before transfer! The embryologist put the petri dish until the microscope and there were my embryos on the computer screen. Oh how I wish I had a picture of that image! It's so surreal! That was Noah once upon a time. That was all of us really, and while an 8-cell embryo does not to me equal human child, it represents the start of something incredible. I think that was the icing on the cake. That's the picture in my mind that I'm holding onto, hoping for the best outcome.

We transferred all three beauties, and later, Ben and I discussed the possibility of twins or triplets. Or sextuplets if they all were to split, god help us. But really, we'll handle whatever we get, just as long as it means bringing home a baby.

So cross your fingers and toes, and hold your breathe! Here goes nothing!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

onozona (Noah speak for Arizona)

Finally a non-Noah/IVF centered blog entry!!!!! Let's talk about vacation, baby!

About two weeks ago, we went on our almost-annual Arizona trip. It was so lovely to be back. It always feels like a 2nd home. Everything is so familiar. I think I determined that we've only missed two years (the year we went to Acapulco for spring break and the year we got married) since we started going in ... 1999!

Every year we stay with our dear friends Amanda and Robert. Amanda is one of my dearest friends. I most often refer to her as my college roommate, though we never actually "roomed" together. We shared an apartment for a year, but besides that she was my (band) sorority big sister and best friend at ISU. We helped each other through some difficult times and had some AMAZING times too. So needless to say, every opportunity to spend time together is welcomed.

Anyways, Noah had the time of his life. Amanda's daughter Laine is about 3.5mo younger than Noah, and they were *in love* with each other. They had so much fun playing together and chasing each other around. The best was when they would kiss. Ah, young love! Noah would lean in and Laine would grab his cheeks to pull him in. So sweet! And Amanda's step-son Isaac who is 11 (i think?) was so good with Noah. Noah would go to Isaac and ask "backsetball?" and Isaac would shoot baskets while Noah watched and chased the ball. There was a lot of silliness and wrestling with those two.

One morning, we went out to breakfast and then hit the local farmers market. The kids really enjoyed the going on the horse drawn wagon and Noah especially liked the petting zoo and dancing to the woman playing guitar.

We went to the first two Cubs spring training games of the year. Spring training is always a treat, as we are huge baseball fans, and Noah is becoming very interested in the sport too. The first game we sat in the outfield lawn, which was actually great for Noah, because he had room to move. Fortunately all the people sitting near us were kind and tolerant, because I can't tell you how many got nailed with Noah's pitches... The Cubs lost both games and the weather was on the chilly side (for AZ), but we didn't care. It was just nice to be enjoying some spring baseball.

We also went to Marley Farms petting zoo, which was literally around the corner from Amanda & Roberts' house. It was a fun, cheap way to spend the day. Noah had free reign and we basically just followed him around as he wandered through the barn, past the goats, back through the barn.... you get the point. We probably spent and hour and a half there, petting and feeding the animals, including a huge camel and the first zonkey (zebra/donkey hybrid) I've ever seen.

We went to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale. Noah and I went when we went to AZ without Ben in December 2009, and I told Ben I wanted to go back because Noah liked it so much back then. I don't think Ben realized how cool it actually was until he saw it for himself. Between the train ride, the model trains, the pullman cars, the catosel (or mairty go round), the park, and ice cream, I think both the boys had a great day.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


the ivf process is complicated. it's exhausting. it's stressful. it pulls you in different directions. i've generally been okay, but my poor tummy is so bruised, my emotions are all over with the damn hormones, and the frequent doctors appointments are time consuming.

we're getting close to retrieval. i'm trying not to think too much about it. i'm trying to stay positive and hopeful. really at this point, what else can i do? i've stopping drinking caffeine and alcohol, i'm doing acupuncture, i'm trying to stay peaceful but focused.

while i was in the office this morning for the routine of bloodwork and ultrasound to monitor my hormone levels and how my eggs are growing, i had a strange experience. i was in the waiting room with several other women waiting for bloodwork, and a women walked in pushing a stroller.

now this is hard to truly understand if you've never experienced infertility. i remember before i had noah, the bitterness i had toward those women. they had the audacity to bring their child to the fertility clinic!? it was the same feeling i would get anytime i'd see a pregnant woman or new baby. sort of a weight in the bottom of your stomach. a heavy ache. a pain that is hard to explain without experiencing it for yourself.

well when that woman walked in the waiting room today, i didn't quite feel that ache, but it felt weird and awkward. you see, i am still so cognizant of how women might look at me with a small child. how they might be bitter toward me or jealous of my luck to be able to have a child.

my world has been shaken this past year, and i truly have a better appreciation for my noah, and all the children in my life. i think those who've walked with me this past year have felt a change in perspective too, and while i think i was feeling anguish for the other women in that room, i was also still feeling it for stacy. i think of how she would feel if she were one of the people in that room, and it reminds me to never take my baby or my good fortune for granted.

Monday, February 21, 2011

tragedy and heartache

so i've been thinking about this blog for days. i keep thinking about things i need to put out there. thoughts that have been flitting through my head. thoughts about noah's awesomeness. thoughts about my shattered heart, the depth of my sadness, the ache of yet another loss.

the long and short of it is this. february 10th was an awesome day. we celebrated stacy making it to 24 weeks - viability. the realization of a baby possibly fighting an unhill battle, but at least being born to fight the battle.

february 11th the bottom fell out. i woke up to a text from stacy. she had started bleeding. she went to the hospital. there was no heartbeat. a baby girl was born around 2:30am, 1 lb 10 oz.

the ache is my heart took my breathe away. how one person has to experience this pain, this grief again.... how they have to now have three angel babies... i went into work that day, a friday, and cried all day. i think after stacy lost the twins i was able to hold it together, because their passing at 23 weeks 2 days was inevitable. her water had broken, one baby with the heart defect, the other septic. i went to bed the night they were born knowing i would have to deal with their passing the next day. this time, i went to bed happy, greatful for the gift the universe, maybe even god? had given my friend. and the next day, 24 weeks, 1 day, she is taken away.


i talk about MY feelings about this tragedy, and it's not even my tragedy to grieve. i think it affects me so deeply because of mine and stacy's shared IF & IVF journeys - my memory of her coming to me to tell me she was starting IVF while i was just a few months pregnant with noah. she was there for my journey, and i've been there for hers. i can understand where her mind is at to that extent, but i am left to imagine what it feels like to lose not one, not two, but three babies in under a year. and after all the hoops of IVF...


i saw stacy last thursday and when people asked how she was, i struggled to answer. she just is. she's hurting and who can blame her? she's confused and scared. losing three babies doesn't take away the desire to have a baby or to raise a child, but she now is forced to look at other options. options that she may have never even considered.

she comes back to work on wednesday. half days this week, and full time next week. she has to for financial reasons, and too because what is the alternative? sit and home and mope? work equals routine and human contact, which will be hard at first, but it's what she needs to keep moving forward. it will be harder though this time around, since she is coming back to an office with three pregnant people- one due in a few short weeks, another due just two weeks before her own due date, and another a close friend of ours. and that's not to mention several others who are trying, myself included.

which, speaking of - my IVF suppression is underway, though my gut reaction after stacy's cerclage came out and then again after the baby passed was to cancel the cycle. i told ben that's what i wanted to do, but after some conversations and some time, i decided to keep moving, and at least see how it goes and how i feel after vacation. - ah yes, vacation.....

we leave for AZ on wednesday night, and you know how much i've packed? nothing. i've gone so far as pulling out mine and noah's "summer" clothes and buying travel sized noxzema and st ives scrub. let's just say, tomorrow night's gonna be busy....

amidst all the sadness and stress of the past few weeks, i've failing to blog about noah's continued awesomeness!!!

he SINGS!! no more humming or singing a word here and there, but full on singing! he sings ring around the rosy, twinkle twinkle, abc's, happy birthday, most of take me out to the ballgame, patty cake... ah, what am i forgetting? he's taking in longer sentences all the time, and which i still have to translate for a lot of people, we are understanding the vast majority of what he says. he talks about his day, and makes jokes about things that he knows will make us laugh. he's doing a lot more smiling on command, or "cheesing" as i call it because that squinty eyed smile is pretty cheesy. he's LOVING school, and his teachers keep commenting on how great he's talking. he's even eating better recently! he's taken up hot dogs and chicken nuggets on a consistent basis, and the other weekend he ate my mother-in-law's lasagne and asparagus! he needed a little bribary (matchbox cars and chocolate cake), but hey, whatever works!!

stacy's loss has really made me re-evaluate my fortune. i know i'm lucky to have noah, don't get me wrong, but i honestly have a new found appreciation for him and the way he's changed me. i was talking to my co-worker who is due in a little over a month, and she was saying how she is nervous for stacy to come back, and expressed her guilt about being pregnant since she wasn't even trying to conceive. it was hard for me to respond to that besides to tell her that stacy is still happy for her, and had said so the day before. it took me a few moments to realize that what i should have told her, and what i will tell her before her baby comes is that while everyone's situation is different, she will be a better person and a better mom and have a better appreciation for HER child because of stacy's experience. we are all affected by life's twists and turns in our own way, but i think that if anything good can come from this tragedy, it is that so many people close to it have been impacted in a way that none of us will forget. we have to remind ourselves not to take these things for granted, and hopefully, we can share this with others as well.